Communication and Feedback
In recognition of the critical importance of communication, including clear expectations and feedback, to professional growth and satisfaction, O'Melveny has implemented a range of formal and informal communication avenues.
Associate and Counsel Advisory Committee (ACAC)The Associate and Counsel Advisory Committee (ACAC) is a firmwide group of associate and counsel representatives who meet and coordinate with colleagues and Firm leadership to identify and address issues that impact associate and counsel life. Twice yearly, ACAC representatives participate in meetings with leaders from across the Firm. The Firm provides leadership training to the ACAC representatives to help them excel in their roles as current and future leaders of the Firm. Each office also has its own local ACAC that coordinates with the associates and counsel in their respective offices.
Attorney Evaluation System (AES)The Attorney Evaluation System takes place yearly and involves local and firmwide review of each associate and counsel's work, based on the Firm's core competencies and values.
Core competencies are the general knowledge, skills, behaviors, and aptitudes that have been identified by the Firm as ones to which an associate or counsel should aspire at different stages in his or her career at O'Melveny. These competencies are based on the Firm's values and integrated with the criteria for performance evaluations. The competencies provide concrete examples from actual reviews in order to provide a tangible idea of “what success looks like” at a given level, and outline targeted goals regarding legal skills, client interaction, citizenship, community involvement, and contributions to the Firm. Associates and counsel are encouraged to use the competencies as a career development tool and guide, as well as a basis for completing annual self-evaluations.
Evaluation and Compensation
O'Melveny is committed to recruiting and retaining the best legal talent. Accordingly, we seek to compensate all of our associates and counsel at a level comparable to compensation by peer firms for lawyers at the same practice level. Great care is taken to ensure our evaluation and compensation process measures the full contributions of each lawyer and reflects and promotes the values of our professional partnership—excellence, leadership, and citizenship.
Our process for evaluating and determining compensation for associates and counsel is very thorough, and includes self-evaluations, individual partner and counsel solicitations, office and practice group reviews, and an individualized review by the Associate and Counsel Review Committee (ACRC). The ACRC is comprised of members whose roles are to serve neither as office nor practice group representatives, but who will instead oversee the performance review process from a firmwide perspective. The ACRC's role is to ensure that associates and counsel are evaluated based on their contributions to excellence, leadership and citizenship, and with consistent standards across the entire Firm.
The evaluation process is an opportunity to comprehensively review performance expectations and goals, to discuss professional development opportunities, and to identify opportunities for career growth. Each associate and counsel has the opportunity to complete a self-evaluation that becomes the foundation for soliciting feedback from lawyers with whom they have worked during the past year. Every lawyer receives a formal written evaluation based on the solicited comprehensive feedback, as well as a face-to-face meeting with their reviewers to recognize outstanding achievement, provide specific recommendations for professional growth, and to target specific areas for improvement where needed.
Upward ReviewsThe upward review program enables every associate and counsel to provide anonymous reviews for every partner and counsel with whom they have worked during the past year. The resulting reviews provide a vehicle for recognizing those partners and counsel who have contributed to the professional growth of their teams, as well as identifying any supervisory patterns that can be improved. The results of the upward reviews are also taken into account in partnership admission and compensation decisions.